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Thread: Getting off Valium

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by pete4sake View Post
    Hi Scott
    I just read through your thread and admire your commitment . SCI throws us so many curve balls sometimes it can make our head spin. Our situations are very different as I am a T-8 para but just wanted to throw out there that it could be a coincidence even though it doesn't seem likely. The only reason i say that is my BP did throw me for a complete loop me for an 18 month lperiod after being consistent for 29 years. I ended up going to magic bullet every other day (had same problem with enemeez that you did) Anyway just wanted to say that the trial and error approach you have been taking: wheras it is frustrating may be the only way you solve this issue. Good Luck!
    Did your bowel routine go back to your old "normal" or have you adapted?

  2. #52
    I'm not a believer in meds at all so I'd say don't get back on the Valium you've worked so hard to get off of it. It makes sense to me that the reason you're bowels worked better while on the Valium was because it was relaxing your colon while you slept and allowing things to function more seemingly normally. With you stimulating the colon so much with laxatives and suppositories it is causing even more spasms and probably aggravating the problem further. My advice would be try to go on a every other day bowel routine using no meds or suppositories and eat a very healthy diet with lot's of fruits and vegetables and not many dairy products. Drink one glass of Metamucil every mourning and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Make sure to do enough digital Stim to get it all every other mourning. If you can do all this I think you will find yourself feeling much better in the future and not using any crazy meds like Valium. Stay away from Alcohol too, that only seems to screw things up. Remember drink plenty of water. Your bowels may be off for a while while your body adjusts to this program but I think your body is gonna love you in the long haul for taking this approach. It works for me. Maybe take a couple stool softeners every day if necessary also. I'd avoid laxatives and suppositories though.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Leatherbee View Post
    I'm not a believer in meds at all so I'd say don't get back on the Valium you've worked so hard to get off of it. It makes sense to me that the reason you're bowels worked better while on the Valium was because it was relaxing your colon while you slept and allowing things to function more seemingly normally. With you stimulating the colon so much with laxatives and suppositories it is causing even more spasms and probably aggravating the problem further. My advice would be try to go on a every other day bowel routine using no meds or suppositories and eat a very healthy diet with lot's of fruits and vegetables and not many dairy products. Drink one glass of Metamucil every mourning and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Make sure to do enough digital Stim to get it all every other mourning. If you can do all this I think you will find yourself feeling much better in the future and not using any crazy meds like Valium. Stay away from Alcohol too, that only seems to screw things up. Remember drink plenty of water. Your bowels may be off for a while while your body adjusts to this program but I think your body is gonna love you in the long haul for taking this approach. It works for me. Maybe take a couple stool softeners every day if necessary also. I'd avoid laxatives and suppositories though.
    I would like to do all that but my family isn't super bowel program friendly. My mom and stepdad have arthritic hands and fingers so doing much more than a minute of digital stim is out of the picture. They have other health problems as well, so I'm trying to minimize their amount of needed effort to make this happen. Things got so bad for a while that I nearly ended up in a nursing home. Fortunately, evening caregiver hours made things easier. Unfortunately they cannot do much to assist with this problem.
    My mom occasionally brings up getting a colostomy... something I don't want, but might have to get if things don't get better.

  4. #54
    The changes i had to make I had to go to every other day was getting by every 3rd. Previously I just did dig stim nothing else. New program insert 1 magic bullet while laying on left side stay laying down for 25 minutes then i get up eat something get thing set up and transfer to commode chair. I wear depends as i don't actually start stim and removal until about 1 hour and 15 minutes after insert. It took quite a while for things to level out. Also MB does not work well if any stool is already in vault so if I have a program and know i don't quite get it all. i do it again the next day. Look we are all different but my hunch would be to keep experimenting with managing bowels before going back on Valium because i think it will prolong the cycle if you do. another wild hunch I have is the valium did calm your bowels so i would back off on softeners and just try MB alone. I mhave been amazed at how much less dig stim I have to do now than before the change. good Luck Bro




    Quote Originally Posted by Scott C4/5 View Post
    Did your bowel routine go back to your old "normal" or have you adapted?

  5. #55
    Senior Member dnvrdave's Avatar
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    Scott, I am another one who just read your whole story with rapt attention.You did an amazing job getting off Valium (congratulations, bro!) and you should not get back on it. I hope your doctor agrees. I hear your comments about this being more than a coincidence, and I agree, but there is a better answer than Valium. Keep looking. I could tell you what worked for me, but I have never had to take drugs long term, so our bodies are surely very different.

    The things we have to do to our bodies can be harsh. Twenty years of suppositories gave me hemorrhoids (and surgery) and eventually a colostomy after 29 years. I've had it for 3 years now and can be mostly independent with it, as a C5/6. That may not be true for you, but it should end the messes. It is not perfect (new "little" problems like random loud farts and sexual inhibition), but it helped me and many others here. We have to adapt to the changes, and hopefully keep improving our lives with each adaptation.

    You have surely thought of this, but can you have a CNA on call to help with the messes, to give your family a break? Hiring (or finding) help is one of the things I hate most about being a quad. But it is great when you have the right kind of help available. We all deserve it.

    Everything Curt said is right on (even if it might not work for you right now). The dietary advice (high fiber, water, no alcohol, little dairy) is good for anyone. Also cut back on red meat. But you know your body. I take psyllium twice a day, even with a colostomy, just because it makes everything come out "cleanly".

    Thanks for keeping us informed over these months! I think your story could help many others. So please keep posting, including future efforts to get off other drugs. We are nearing the age of personalized medicine, and we need each other as a resource.
    Last edited by dnvrdave; 10-24-2017 at 10:16 PM.
    "The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is."
    --Eckhart Tolle




  6. #56
    Yep, Psyllium is your friend. A Gastro Doc who was good friends with my Dad told me that years ago, as long as you drink enough water while taking it. I just drink one glass every morning. But ya, it does take around 1/2 hour of dig stim every other day, no way around that for me. Anyway to get a PCA? Even if it was just an hour or two every other morning that would work if that's possible. That way too they could get into the shower every other day after your BP. Thats mainly what I do is take a shower after my BP every other day unless I get really sweaty and it's real hot out. Just someone 14 hours a week is all you need, must be some kind of insurance or something that will cover that.
    Last edited by Curt Leatherbee; 10-19-2017 at 10:43 PM.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  7. #57
    Just FYI, Scott, you've been off of valium for three months now. Taking a couple (or four) doses isn't going to "get you hooked". People routinely take valium for a few days and then stop cold turkey. It has quite a long half life and if you're only experimenting for a few days you won't experience the kind of withdrawal symptoms you had after years and years on the stuff.

    Benzodiazepines work similar to alcohol and I think a comparison to an alcoholic is apt with regard of the possibility of withdrawal symptoms. If you're not a drinker (ie you haven't had a drink in 3 months or so) and you go on a bender for a few days you might feel like trash at the end of it, but within 24 hours or so you'll be back to your normal self with no drawn out symptoms of withdrawal. I know I've had my fair share of alcohol fueled weekends in my youth and never experienced withdrawal .

    It takes many many months, typically years to develop physical dependence on benzodiazepines (or alcohol) to the point that you have significant withdrawal symptoms.

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Leatherbee View Post
    I'm not a believer in meds at all
    (I respect you curt, so try to read this in the lighthearted tone in which I'm writing it)

    This statement is kind of ridiculous. There's not a person with chronic SCI today who is still alive that isn't alive directly because of "meds" of some kind or another. A UTI with a neurogenic bladder was a death sentence from the beginning of the time until the advent of penicillin. A healthy proportion of our higher level injured population would not be alive today if it were not for medications able to drop their blood pressure and get them out of a bout of AD. In a more general sense, statins as a class of medications are estimated to prevent millions of heart attacks and strokes worldwide every year.

    Even drugs like valium have their place, preventing thousands of deaths per year due to alcohol withdrawal.

    Make the blanket statement that medications are bad is to disbelieve the second most important factor (public sanitation is probably #1) why people in the world live long and healthy lives instead of dying in childhood or during childbirth or due to a stubbed toe that got infected.

  9. #59
    You're right I stand corrected, if not for antibiotics I woulda been dead for sure at 23 after I had my accident, I stand corrected. I should have worded it better.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  10. #60
    Okay, so the doctor wouldn't put me back on Valium to see if it would help. I discussed with the SCI Nurse what could be the cause of my bowels not emptying as they did before and she said it could be megacolon. I called my doctors office and asked if they could set me up an appointment with a gastroenterologist to have them see if that was the problem. Five days went by and the morning that my doctors office called to inform me of a referral, my bowels moved on their own (as before). My appointment was for today.

    I felt well on Saturday and on Sunday morning I had another substantial bowel movement (non-induced). Monday morning I wanted to be cleaned out for today, so I used a suppository and got another substantial amount. This morning, I felt as though I needed to go again and had another (non-induced) bowel movement. I feel like my bowels are back in order but go to my appointment anyway. I get to the hospital (drenched in sweat and freezing due to AD from laying on an ambulance stretcher) and when I tell the NP and the doctor that I came to see if my problem was due to megacolon, both looked at me as though they had a never heard of it. Neither listened to my bowel sounds or asked about my stool consistency but told me that I needed to eat more fiber and to schedule a colonoscopy.

    I'm fed up with doctors who do not listen, either due to ignorance or arrogance. They asked me nothing of my bowel history or any other question. MORE FIBER AND A COLONOSCOPY...that's all he said. Except that I should not take Senna on a daily basis... but my regular doctor told me to take 2 Senna each day. I haven't had any Senna for 5 days. If my bowels continue to work, I'll not be returning to the gastroenterologist anytime soon. Friggin' hack...

    So, as for Valium, I'm off... but I'll always suspect that it had something to do with my bowels. I guess that finishes off this thread. Thanks all!

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